Somali pirates seize Turkish ship

 

Somali pirates seized a Turkish ship with a crew of 19 Turks and two Ukrainians in the Indian Ocean today, Turkish media reported.

The Maltese-flagged MV Frigia was hijacked 1,000 nautical miles east of the northern coast of Somalia, the counter-piracy EU Naval Force (Navfor) Somalia said in a statement.

It did not identify the hijackers but said the 35,000-tonne ship had been closer to India than Somalia and some 400 nautical miles outside the normal Navfor operation area.

"My men have hijacked a Turkish ship from the Indian Ocean and they are now heading towards me here in Haradheere," a pirate known only as Ali told reporters by phone from the Somalian coastal town, a base for many hijackers.

The ship had been sailing east from Port Said to Thailand.

However it now appears to be heading west towards one of the known pirate ports on the coast of Somalia, EU Navfor said.

Turkish cargo ships have been hijacked in the past and Nato-member Turkey's warships patrol the Gulf of Aden as part of an international mission to try to prevent piracy, which has surged off the Somali coast in recent years.

Reuters